Italy Now Has 16.7 GW Of Installed Solar PV Capacity

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Update April 19, 7:45am EDT: a reader comment has been appended to the bottom of this post.

Italy’s total installed solar photovoltaic capacity now stands at an impressive 16.7 GW, as of the end of March, according to Italian energy agency Gestore dei Servizi Energetici SpA. And it is continuing to climb at a significant rate; 214 megawatts (MW) of new capacity were installed in March, 126 MW in February, and 232 MW for January.

Image Credit: Solar Italy via Wikimedia Commons
Image Credit: Solar Italy via Wikimedia Commons

The fast rate of installation is, at least in part, a result of the country’s Conto Energia V programme, which will soon be ending after it hits its cap of €6.7 billion. Many in the industry are worried that the end of the program will very negatively affect future installation rates in the region.

The government in the country remains optimistic. It has stated that it thinks the country can hit 1 GW of new solar power capacity per year even without subsidies.

As we’ve previously reported, Italy now receives about 5.75% of its electricity from solar PV, a figure which should continue to grow significantly well into the future.

Reader comment (with minor edits for style and such): Italy now has far more than 16.7 GW of PV already installed: the right number is 17.3 GW (17,387,517 kW), with 514,504 installations, including domestic and industrial.

Actually, Italy has spent €6,628,510,275 (€6.62 billion) on feed-in tariffs, so I suppose incentives will end by June.

The race for installations is for this reason: the end of Conto Energia feed-in tariffs.

After the end of Conto Energia, people who install solar panels may request tax deductions up to 36% (50% until the end of June, it is hoped that the next government extends the validity of the deductions) of IRPEF tax.

IRPEF is a tax on gains from work, both dependent and independent.

Today, if you have a feed-in tariff, you can not use the “Scambio sul posto” (similar to your net metering), but if you ask for deductions, you can do it.

So, when feed-in tariffs will end and will remain only tax deductions, PV will continue to grow in Italy, but more slowly. And especially it will grow in the south, where there is more sun and you get more savings on electricity bills.

But, paradoxally, the inhabitants of southern Italy are less rich than those in the north and have fewer benefits from tax deductions, because they pay fewer IRPEF!

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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